China 'very interested' in partnering with Timor-

The president of Timor-Leste, José Ramos-Horta, said that China is "very interested" in working with his government on a controversial gas project. 

Mr. Ramos-Horta said that over the last two or three years, he had casual talks with Chinese officials about how they might be able to help with the project.

He told 7.30, "They are very interested, and they even told me they are very interested in being the only partners."  

He said that Timor-Leste had never officially reached out to China but that "we have a great relationship with China."

Mr. Ramos-Horta has warned Australia before that Timor-Leste would go to China if it didn't help his country get out of a standoff with Australian energy giant Woodside over a gas project. 

He has asked Australia and Woodside to "extend the hand of friendship" and agree that gas from a deposit in the Timor Sea should be sent to Timor-Leste instead of Australia to be processed.

Right now, Woodside and Timor-Leste are talking about what will happen with the oil and gas deposits in the "Greater Sunrise" area, which is between the two countries.  

Woodside has said that the project might not work if the gas is processed in Timor-Leste.

Timor-Leste says it should get more jobs and money from processing because it can bring about both. Woodside and Timor-L